Tutorial 10: African American Experience During WWII

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21 Mar 2012
Department
Tutorial 10: African American Experiences During WWII
Was there any difference in the lives/experiences of African Americans
compared to the previous decades?
o National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
membership increased 10 times, reaching 500,000 people in 1945
Demanded a double campaign: to gain victory over racial
discrimination at home as well as over the Axis Powers
o 1942 founded the Congress for Racial Equality
Employed strategy of nonviolent resistance to challenge Jim
Crow
Sought to desegregate public facilities in northern cities
o A. Philip Randolph (president of Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters),
warned FDR that if he didn’t abolish discrimination in the armed
forces, African Americans would besiege Washington
First presidential directive on race since reconstruction
Prohibited discrimination in employment practices
Even with it, still violence within the military towards African
Americans
How did double victory impact this group?
o Returning African American veterans who served in the military
resolved as never before to gain all the rights enjoyed by whites
When did WW2 begin for the United States?
o 1939: involved with Britain; sending them goods chose a side then
you aren’t neutral any more
Did American mobilization create national unity? Why or why not?
o Common enemy of Nazi Germany and Japan
o Unification under democracy against communism/fascism
o Superpower status of the United States
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